coronavirus | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

coronavirus

Coronavirus

The Trump administration says the U.S. will not participate in a global push to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, in part because the effort is led by the World Health Organization, which the White House describes as "corrupt" and has accused of initially aiding China in covering up the scope of the pandemic.

Alabama Extension / Flickr/Creative Commons

Connecticut residents are struggling to afford health care costs and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the burden -- that’s according to results from a new statewide survey released Tuesday.

“The job loss and the resulting lack of wages that we’re seeing because of COVID-19 increases the likelihood that people are going to struggle to afford needed care,” said Amanda Hunt, co-deputy director of the Healthcare Value Hub at Altarum. 

New York City will delay its start of in-person classes at public schools until Sept. 21 as part of a deal with the United Federation of Teachers, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials announced Tuesday.

The union, which represents most of the city's educators, had been on the brink of voting whether to authorize a strike over safety precautions related to the coronavirus. The new agreement is aimed at addressing health concerns for educators and their students.

At Dwight D. Eisenhower Charter School in Algiers, a low-slung brick building across the river from downtown New Orleans, school leaders greet students as they make their way into the building. All are masked.

In the cafeteria, a movable wall cuts the space in half, separating the students into socially distanced groups of nine. Strips of tape mark separate pathways for students and staff. Big pumps of hand sanitizer sit on each desk, and everyone, teachers and students, is wearing a mask.

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

State flags flew at half-staff Monday to honor the thousands of people in Connecticut who have died from a drug overdose over the years.

That includes Tony Morrissey’s son, Brian Cody Waldron, who died at 20 years old last August.  

In early August, José came home to the Chicago apartment he shares with his wife and five children. He'd just spent three months in the hospital after contracting the coronavirus.

"We were all so happy," says his daughter Alondra, describing that day. "Everybody in the hospital was like, he was about to die. There was no more hope for him. ... So now we're like, 'Thank God, he's still here with us.' "

Adam Johnson enjoys going into the office. It helps that he works in one of the nicest buildings in Midtown Manhattan: a 35-story art deco high-rise at the corner of 58th Street and Fifth Avenue, overlooking Central Park and the Plaza Hotel.

Johnson's a stock picker — he writes an investment newsletter called Bullseye Brief — and, ostensibly, he shares the sixth floor with a real estate showroom and an assortment of hedge funds. They all left months ago.

"I am the only person who's been coming in here since April 1st," he says.

Facebook

State public health officials say violations at a Norwich nursing home are presenting “imminent harm” to the lives of staff and patients. So far, 21 residents and five staff members of Three Rivers Nursing Home have been infected with COVID-19. Three residents have died and one is hospitalized. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

At CREC’s Academy of Science and Innovation in New Britain, school principal Karen Mooney has been preparing for the return of 457 students to in-person learning on Sept. 9. 

But the logistics will look a little different from those of past school years in this time of coronavirus.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET

Fewer than eight months ago, the U.S. had yet to experience its first confirmed case of a deadly disease that was sweeping through China and threatening to go global. Today, more than 6 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and some 183,000 have died from it, according to a tally maintained by Johns Hopkins University.

A health care worker prepares to administer a nasal swab for a COVID-19 drive-by testing site
JOE AMON / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC/NENC

While most of Connecticut has seen a low rate of positive COVID-19 cases, the city of Danbury has become a concerning exception.

This hour, we talk to the city’s Mayor, Mark Boughton, to hear more about this local outbreak.

And later, contact tracing is a critical public health tool for containing the spread of COVID-19. But who are the people actually running Connecticut’s tracing efforts?

We hear from one of the state’s regional health directors.

And we check in across the Atlantic with a reporter in Germany, a place many point to as a model for public health response to the pandemic.

President Trump's campaign to discourage the use of mail-in voting this fall is raising concerns among Republicans, particularly in the key swing state of Wisconsin, that his efforts could hinder their party on election night.

Last week, Trump called expanding mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic "the greatest scam in the history of politics" — although there's no evidence to back up his claim that it will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Despite a foothold in medicine that predates Hippocrates himself, the traditional physical exam might be on the verge of extinction. The coronavirus crisis has driven more routine medical appointments online, accelerating a trend toward telemedicine that has already been underway.

Updated at 8:08 p.m. ET

Congressional Democrats are calling the director of national intelligence's cancellation of additional in-person election security briefings "outrageous," after the change was announced on Friday. Election Day is about nine weeks away.

Dave Wurtzel / Connecticut Public

State public health officials said they’ll work to more aggressively test staff at nursing homes for COVID-19. But officials in the eldercare industry said Friday they’re still waiting for formal guidance on those changes from the state Department of Public Health. 

Jackson Mitchell / WNPR

UConn announced Thursday that the nearly 300 students living in the Garrigus Suites residence hall have been placed under medical quarantine due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The primary goal of a COVID-19 vaccine is to keep people from getting very sick and dying. But there's another goal — to prevent the spread of the disease — and it's not clear most vaccine candidates currently under development can do that.

Some scientists think they can solve that problem by delivering a vaccine as a nasal spray.

Neena Satija

Each year millions of students take in-person standardized tests like the SAT and ACT as part of their application process for college. But amid the pandemic, concerns over health and safety have closed hundreds of test sites nationwide. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

After a protracted back-and-forth with state health officials, Connecticut’s governing body of high school sports will go ahead with a fall season.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered schools and businesses and altered life across the globe, but journalist Alexis Madrigal says comprehensive, rapid testing might be the key to a safe reopening.

"The key problem in the pandemic is we don't know who's contagious," Madrigal says. "And because of that, it is very hard to really grind transmission down to nothing."

The Ella Burr McManus Trust / Wadsworth Atheneum

Hartford’s Wadsworth Atheneum, the Old State House and the Hartford Public Library are offering a series of self-guided walking tours showcasing the art and history hiding in plain sight in the capital city.

Courtesy: Wilton Public Schools

The Wilton Board of Education has voted to postpone the start of in-person learning for a week, saying the town needs more time to prepare. Hamden has also pushed back the start of school for a week, citing a shortage of teachers.

An inpatient treatment facility for substance abuse is the site of one recent COVID-19 outbreak in Danbury, according to the state Department of Public Health. 

The FBI says it has no evidence of any coordinated fraud schemes related to voting by mail this year, undercutting repeated claims by President Trump and his camp about what they've called security problems.

That disclosure was made in an election security briefing for reporters on Wednesday by high-ranking officials from the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Central Connecticut State University students returned to learning Wednesday, with a list of pandemic requirements that include wearing masks in the classroom and taking multiple coronavirus tests this semester.

Gov. Ned Lamont joined Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities system, on campus to kick off what they both said will be a different year of learning and having to adapt. Lamont stressed that if the public health metrics change, the system will adjust to remote learning. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut legislators and health experts in Hartford Tuesday stressed that the number of opioid overdose deaths is up statewide. Evidence, they say, that the pandemic is interfering with addiction treatment and recovery.

“When we were doing our work in preparation for the pandemic, there was a lot of focus on children, on seniors, and on our individuals who are experiencing homelessness,” said Liany Arroyo, director of health for the city of Hartford. 

Mayor Mark Boughton says they getting ahead of recent Covid spike
Ali Warshavsky / WNPR

Danbury officials said Tuesday that contact tracing shows COVID-19 has spiked in the city due to residents traveling elsewhere in the U.S. and overseas, and now it’s now spreading within the community through sporting events and gatherings at religious institutions.

Updated 4:35 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration's chief has undercut the agency's assertion that it is basing its decisions on science, not politics.

At a White House event Sunday with President Trump, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn used a deeply misleading statistic to claim that a treatment the agency had just authorized for treating the coronavirus would save 35 lives out of every 100 people who get the treatment.

Jane Courcy was living in San Diego doing IT consulting work for colleges and universities when the pandemic hit. Suddenly, her work dried up completely.

With the extra $600 a week in federal unemployment money she was able to get by. But with that gone now, she says the state benefits won't cover her rent and other bills.

"I'm concerned — will I have a place to live," Courcy says. "You know, I come from New England and we're strong people and we take care of ourselves, but we also need government to help us a little bit. When the money runs out, what do I do?"

Dj1998d, Wikimedia Commons

Although Connecticut’s coronavirus positivity rate remains around 1 percent, Danbury’s infection rate has jumped to 7 percent, prompting state public health officials to issue a COVID-19 alert for the city Friday. On Monday, Mayor Mark Boughton announced that Danbury’s K-12 schools will delay in-person classes until at least Oct. 1 because of the spike in cases.

Pages